Sent to Coventry
Day 2 of the G8 Bike ride and we've covered about 130 miles (taking my personal tally so far to over 600!) taken part in two protests (an anti-road protest in Linslade and an anti-airport expansion action here in Coventry) and held up lots of cars in good humoured fashion with flags, banners and a hefty sound system on wheels... And we've only got lost once! And that was in Watford where getting lost is almost a local custom. Although getting lost on the hottest day of the year so far wasn't the most fun I've ever had. Many faces, backs, arms and thighs are looking increasingly lobstery... fortunately not mine, (though I will have some interesting tan marks when I get back, most of which I hope you'll be spared).
My fellow cyclists are an eclectic and cosmopolitan bunch of activists, students, anarchists, vegans, cycling enthusiasts and people generally interested in adding their dissenting voices to a community on wheels as it makes its way up the country taking in as many protests as possible on the way... It's been great fun so far and I've met some quality characters, though it must be said that whilst we look like a bunch of grimy crusty new age travellers, the people we've met at the protests have been ordinary local people - mums and dads and kids and pensioners - concerned about corporate and government interests taking precedence over their own... which on a global and a local scale is kind of what this ride is all about.
Anyway, it's getting late and much as I'd like to post some more photos I'm tired and I don't want to impose upon my host's internet hospitality too much. The kind folks at the peace house (a vegetarian housing co-op/social centre/bike workshop) in Coventry provided us with an amazing feast when we arrived this evening and are accomodating us in their houses - real beds and showers and everything! (It's amazing how you begin to appreciate the simple things...) So until Nottingham you'll just have to imagine me sweating and panting in the burning sun up a big hill, and then shooting down it super-cooled by the rushing wind - with a massive smile on my face!